Spencer Nelson was extremely special to a large number of people. Below are some written tributes to Spencer those who wrote wished to share. If you'd like to submit a memory, you can do so here. Submitted entries are below:
"Spencer was a wonderful son, an incredible young man. He had accomplished so much in his short life. He had so much more to accomplish, but God had other plans for him. It was always his dream to ski for the University of Colorado. He had been a Buff since an early age, as both my wife and I are alumni. He was very proud to wear the CU speed suit and the buffalo logo on his helmet. He had a great freshman season, but he was not content with those results. It was his goal to be an All-American, captain of the team and lead the team to the National Championship. I know in my heart that he would have done that. We are overwhelmed by the love and support from the CU Nation. We love the University, Coach Rokos and all of the Ski Team athletes. They will forever be in our hearts. It is our hope that Spencer's spirit lives on in each of his teammates and helps them to the NCAA title this year. Go Buffs!"
-Peter Nelson, father
"When Spence was about 5 or 6 years old his family came to Camp Nelson, his persistance was evident at an early age. His father was helping Uncle John with a building project, (the boat house deck) and he told Spence he would take him for a canoe ride when was done. Spence stood by thier side, paddle in hand, ready to go for hours, smile on his face. I will never forget his words as he was standing there, 'Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad,' he figured he would help get things going by cheering them on. Peter finaly looked at John and said I'm going canoeing with my son I'll be back later, and he did. Always ready for action but gentle soal, I could keep writing about him and his family for hours because they make my life and my families life whole. He will always be with us."
-LeAnn Nelson, Spencer's aunt
"Spencer was a dear son, brother, grandson, teammate and friend. The fact that Spencer is no longer with us is still beyond our wildest imagination. Only belief that his spirit is in place we all will meet one day again can give us the strength to cope with it. We cannot ease the sorrow of his family, but we know we will love, honor and cherish Spencer in our fondest memories for the rest of our lives."
-Richard Rokos, CU ski coach
"I have never met anyone who was so excited about absolutely everything in life as much as Spencer. Like most know, he was always smiling and always happy. Every person he met was immediately his friend because his joy and passion for life spread easily.
"Spencer belonged outdoors and in nature. Whether skiing, hiking, or biking, he was always up for an adventure. I was fortunate enough to be with Spencer when we climbed his 17th 14er. We had planned on camping and climbing Quandry on a day in early July. Sitting around the campfire watching the sun set, Spencer suggested that we climb the peak at midnight. We all laughed and dismissed his idea, but sure enough, guided by Spencer's enthusiasm, we all started the trek up the mountain under the stars and moonlight. Four hours later, and we had made it to the 14,000-foot summit. From the top we stared out at hundreds of miles of jagged mountains, just as the moon disappeared behind a ridge.
"Its adventures like these that no one else would take that seemed to fuel Spencer that night. I am so appreciative to have known Spencer and been able to see the things I have seen because of him. Our team will deeply miss him.
"We all love you so much Spencer."
-Eric Davis, CU teammate
"Spencer embodied the notions of motivation, ambition and "joie de vivre" (meaning "happiness to live"). He was a hard worker and always the one to take an extra run on the hill. When working out, he was always at 100 percent, minimum. He knew what he wanted to become a champion. His approach to life he has always been a champion, always smiling and optimistic, his constant curiosity animated impassioned conversations about skiing and sports. I cannot express how much we will all miss him, but I can say that he inspired me and everyone who met him.
"Spencer was a loved friend and teammate. His smile will accompany us forever; we will never forget you Spencer."
-Gabriel Rivas, CU teammate
"The clouds rolled over sunny California the day Spencer died, and have refused to leave since. From the bay to the breakers, the gray silence of his absence roars loader than any sound I've ever heard. I know that as long as snow falls on the great mountain peaks of Colorado, he will live on within us, an intangible presence strengthening us until we see him on the other side.
"Love you always."
-Joanne Reid, CU teammate
"I came home Saturday night from my restaurant Bella Mia in El Jebel Co. and pulled up The Aspen Times. I read someone died at the Maroon Bells, Robert Tapper Crown called me on Sunday and said Spencer Nelson passed. He skied with our kids for six years, he was a awsome kid from the j5t to j3. years Robert Tapper, P.C. Crown son Matthew Tapper Crown and Harry Maniloff son of Joy and Harold Maniloff AVSC .Please come and see us at Bella Mia for a toast for Spencer. With sympathy to all of you."
-With Love Joy. Harold, and Harry Maniloff, xoxoxo (Harry is a fellow ski racer)
"Words can't express my feelings about the loss of Spencer. I know death only too well since I lost my parents at a very young age, and I know that we are all only on loan to each other. I know that Spencer's passing will put additional fire under the CU ski team this season. Things like this make me think about some of the close calls I've had in my life like most of us have had. I have climbed all the 14er's and I am aware of the danger of loose rock on the Maroon Bells since I had a friend killed from a rock over 30 years ago on the Bells. When we climbed the Bells, we started late to hope that we were the last climbing party and have no one above us where the trail passes under the trail above, and, luckily, we had no problem. Considering all the college teams Spencer could have joined, the CU coaches and athletes are the lucky ones to have had Spencer as a team mate."
-Sincerely, Bob and Marcy Tatge, USSA Masters
"It was a true honor to meet Spencer last season and to ski with him. His spirit is contagious and it will live on in all of us. His raw talent and desire to be fast was clear to anyone watching him tear through a Rokos GS set on LaBelle. As I learned the horrible details this past Monday, it brought back memories of my own adventures in the Bells with my father who climbed his first 14er at age 60. I accompanied my dad on several of the tougher climbs including a day that started way before sunrise at the Maroon Lake trailhead. We slogged up the south peak and started into the traverse. Even with a friend who had been there before, route finding was difficult and the rock was very loose. A big one came free and we knew we'd had enough. With storm clouds looming on the horizon, we retreated back over the south peak and left the north peak for another day. I say a prayer every time I see the Bells and that prayer will now include thanks for the gift of knowing Spencer if only for a short time."
- Jim Montgomery, RMM racer